Interested in learning more about optimal protein intake for athletes? Check out the info below!
Calculating lean body mass:
Athletes should aim for around 0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of lean mass**, a little more on high volume training days.
Good protein sources:
1. grass fed beef
2. pastured chicken
3. wild salmon/tuna
4. Full fat plain greek yogurt or cottage cheese
5. pastured eggs
7. whey protein isolate – sometimes you just need a quick protein shake for convenience. Do your research to find a quality source.
8. bone broth/stock
The proteins in vegetables are incomplete and less bio-available, which means its harder for the body to use. Be aware of this if you rely on plant-based protein.
-Use an app tracker at first to get an idea of how much you consume such as:
-MyFitnessPal (great for beginners – just be careful of nutritional data entered by other users – it could be inaccurate)
– My Macros+ ($2.99)
-Cook a whole chicken, then use the carcass to make bone broth. You can do this in the crock pot or on the stove – there are so many different recipes out there. Here is one to get you started: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-chicken-stock-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-107885
-Meal prep ahead of time to ensure success and save time.
-Use your crockpot and embrace leftovers: roasts, stews, pulled pork/beef.
-If pastured or grass fed meat is out of the budget, its still better to eat conventional protein than not at all. That being said, experiment with cutting some junk snacks out and putting that money toward higher quality proteins – your body will thank you!
-Hard boil a dozen eggs for snacks – they will easily last for a few weeks in the fridge.
– Bake/grill large amounts of seasoned chicken breasts at one time. Slice when cooled and portion out for salads throughout the week.
-Make sheet pan meals: roast large amount of veggies along with chicken or sliced italian sausages (look for ones that don’t have added sugar/nitrates/msg).
Use parchment paper for easy clean up! Try this recipe:
-Make enough chicken or tuna salad for the week. Here’s a healthy and easy recipe for chicken salad: https://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2013/05/healthy-avocado-chicken-salad.html
The path to optimal nutrition is a journey, which may take some self experimentation to figure out just the right amount of protein for your body’s needs. However, it is a worthwhile one. It can improve and optimize your health and athletic performance, helping you on your way to becoming the healthiest version of yourself!
*I am not an affiliate, nor did I receive compensation from any of the links or info provided.
**J Sports Sci. 2011;29 Suppl 1:S29-38.
Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation.
Phillips SM1, Van Loon LJ.
**Phys Sportsmed. 2009 Jun;37(2):13-21.
Protein for exercise and recovery.
Kreider RB1, Campbell B.